Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Shape of Punk to Come: Dope Body - "Hired Gun" (Drag City Records)

Alright, full disclosure: I've been in top secret email transmission with Baltimore-based Noise-Rock band Dope Body since around mid-April and I've been fully aware that they were planning to drop an album's-worth of new material around September/October, too; that album, now titled LIFER, is currently slated for an October 23rd release on Drag City Records. While I'm not entirely sure if I discovered Dope Body's last album, Natural History (2012) or drummer David Jacober's solo cassette, Water Karaoke first, I guess my initial interaction with the band was a fateful 14-question interview conducted with Jacober a few years ago. LIFER was recorded back in January 2014 after roughly 19 months of non-stop touring behind Natural History, following a brief hiatus to work on the members' outer-band outlets: Nerftoss, Player Press, Holy Ghost Party! and frontman Andrew Laumann's gallery-displayed visual art exhibits. Drag City further describes LIFER as a "[refined] aural yawp [Dope Body] have been perfecting for some time, wild windmills honing into surgical strikes, the band's gut-busting repulsion-sound continuing to expand without losing any of the feral energy that made the group their reputation in the ever-insane Baltimore music and arts underground."

Lead/teaser single "Hired Gun" almost instantly reminds me of the guttural no-holds-barred Punk Rock that I cut my teeth on at the tender age of 13-15... Black Flag, The Misfits, Minor Threat, and even The Clash. It's almost impossible to judge a whole album from just one track, but it sounds like Dope Body have progressed leaps and bounds from Natural History; "at the end of the day, it doesn't boil down to much more than... the basic concept of music as a source of creative output," reads a recently issued Drag City press release. Leading up to LIFER's October 23rd release, Dope Body are planning to head out on a brief 12-city East Coast mini-tour and while they won't be performing, Dope Body have requested that I mention the three-day music festival, the inaugural Fields Festival, which is being held in the suburbs of Maryland, half-way between Philly and Baltimore. Dan Deacon, Matmos, Flock of Dimes, DJ Dog Dick, Nautical Almanac, Ghost Life, Nate Young, Needle Gun, comedians Ben O'Brien and Alan Resnick, as well as plenty more Baltimore "creative types" are scheduled to perform in Darlington, Maryland this upcoming August 22-24th. Tickets for both Dope Body's 12-city tour and Fields Festival are currently available online and presumably at your local ticket retailers.

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